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Revista de Enfermagem Referência

versión impresa ISSN 0874-0283

Resumen

LOBO, Alexandrina de Jesus Serra. Relationship between physical fitness, physical activity and postural stability. Rev. Enf. Ref. [online]. 2012, vol.serIII, n.7, pp.123-130. ISSN 0874-0283.  http://dx.doi.org/10.12707/RIII1181.

As aging advances there is a progressive deterioration of gait, with multiple risk factors that may contribute to falls. Falls are a public health problem with significant medical and economic consequences. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between physical fitness, physical activity and postural stability in the incidence of falls in the elderly. Method: cross-sectional, descriptive and comparative study of 49 elderly inpatients and 63 non-institutionalized elders. We used the Functional Fitness Test, Functional Reach Test, MOS-SF-36 and Baecke questionnaire to assess physical and functional fitness, postural stability, quality of life and levels of physical activity, respectively. Results: the non-institutionalized elders had better physical fitness, including strength, endurance and agility/dynamic balance, higher rates of physical activity and quality of life. We observed statistically significant correlations between performance on tests of physical fitness and indicators of agility/dynamic balance and postural stability. Conclusion: the decrease in fitness with age and low levels of physical activity contribute to functional deficits and postural stability that can lead to falls.

Palabras clave : falls; physical fitness; elderly.

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